Since the announcement that Ford and Google are setting up a partnership, there has been relatively little news as to what that partnership will entail.
There has been some recent speculation that Google will work with Ford to turn the Fusion into the first mass-market autonomous vehicle.
Automotive News, however, believes that Google and Ford will build a car together from scratch.
By using Ford-built vehicles, Google would save billions in development costs. It would not have to design, build, test, manufacture and validate cars for safety and emissions. A deal would free the tech giant to focus on developing the automated driving software in use in a fleet of 53 self-driving bubble cars on the road in California and Texas. Those 53 cars, by the way, were assembled in Detroit by Roush Enterprises, a supplier closely aligned with Ford.
Devices like the Nexus phone series provide a model for how such a partnership would work. Google would provide the specs, and the partner would do the manufacturing.
Originally published at www.davidincalifornia.com on January 3, 2016.